The world of fats can be a confusing one. First experts tell us that fat is bad for us, then they say it is good for us, even identifying certain varieties such as olive oil, the omega’s and most recently coconut oil as healthy super foods. Yet in the same breath, we are told only to consume high quality, extra virgin olive oil but to never cook it on high heat as it breaks down into carcinogens (what is called the smoke point), and that we should only eat the omega oils (3-6-9) in a the appropriate ratio mainly focusing on omega 3s. It seems the more you read on the topic the more of a mystery it becomes. Filled with monounsaturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids, moderate amounts of cooking oils are essential to good health. Here are my top picks of oils, how they benefit your health, and how best to use them.
A Mom's mission to ditch the gluten and sugar, cook real food that her husband and toddler will eat, yet sustains her intense running and yoga program, all while attempting to maintain her sanity!
Today marks both the beginning of summer, and grilling season. Long days and warm weather inspire us to enjoy cooking and eating outside. Nothing beats the distinctive smoky flavor of grilling. However, the standard buns, sugary sauces, poor quality meats, and mayo-drenched side dishes that are so often the focus of backyard barbeques are not the healthiest options. Grilling can be a delicious and super fast cooking technique perfect for any healthy lifestyle. So fire up your grill and learn how to prepare foods that are flavorful and good for you!
1) Is it Dinner or Dessert? – Barbecue sauce gets its tantalizing kick from sugar. Just two tablespoons of barbecue sauce has 100 calories, and more than 3 teaspoons of sugar (Note: the American Heart Associations recommends that women eat no more than 6 tsp. of sugar per day and men 9 tsp.). Instead, try flavoring your meats with steak house favorite Chimichurri Sauce
On June 22 2012, Lauren Havens took the first steps to reclaiming her health. A former water polo coach, and Tao Bo instructor working with the likes of Billy Blanks, life as a mother to a special needs child, and a career of advocacy for cerebral palsy had left her overweight, sluggish, and unhealthy. She had become a mere shadow of her active former self. With her 50th birthday just around the corner, Lauren took up running and started watching what she ate, focusing on real, whole foods. In a matter of months, she lost 40 lbs., breezed through a few 5 and 10K’s, and put her sights on running a half-marathon. With her can-do-attitude and dedicated training through a frigid New England winter, Lauren completed the Diva Half-Marathon in Myrtle Beach, Virginia on April 28th, just shy of her one-year anniversary to running. Now a dedicated runner, Lauren feels more energetic, fit, and motivated then ever, and has begun training for her first marathon – the original marathon in Greece.
Having had the privilege to coach Lauren throughout much of this process, it has been inspirational for me to watch her set goals, crush them so quickly, and move onto something bigger and better without hesitation. What she has accomplished in a year is incredible, and with her signature courage, heart, stamina and dedication, I can only imagine what the future holds for her....
Monday, April 15th is the 117th running of the Boston Marathon. In New England, "Marathon Monday" is the unofficial start of spring or what I like to call the “running season.” Inspired by the marathoners’ perseverance and dedication, runners of all types come out from hibernation and flock to streets. Many of these seasonal runners may even be inspired to sign up for a race of their own and begin training immediately. But what these runners don’t realize is that any effective training program for runners MUST include proper nutrition too.
As we run more, and perhaps start training for races, it becomes increasingly important to fuel the body with the proper foods. While you may have been able to eat anything before you started running, now that you are pushing your body in new ways and demanding it to perform for you this is no longer the case. What you put into your body is equally, if not more, important as how you train it. Here are some tips to get you started on the nutritional portion of your 2013 training season.
The Busy Mom’s Guide to Kitchen Tools
Often I get asked how I manage to prepare home-cooked meals for my family every day of the week, especially with a toddler running circles around me. To this, I reply, I make it a priority! Restaurants, prepared foods, and certainly packaged foods do not provide the quality that I demand for my family. And if I do find quality food, they are not only expensive but loaded with excess fat, sugar, salt, and other chemical additives, which science is proving to be more catastrophic on our health every day. So I have no other choice…
However, I do not pretend to do it all alone. I would never tackle cooking this way with out these five time saving, budget-friendly tools.
Does every meal have to end with a sweet? Do sugar cravings control your life? Do you live off of sweets and soda?
There are plenty of healthy sugar alternatives that are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth without the negative consequences. Try adding berries and honey to plain yogurt or roast carrots and onions in the oven with olive oil and salt for a sweet accompaniment to your favorite meal. For more recipe ideas that help reduce sugar craving like this one for Sweet Potato Fries go to Lauren Leonard Health.
If you want to learn more about kicking your sugar cravings the natural way, check out my two talks this week. For more information or register on-line go to Spring Detox: Sugar Blues Workshops, e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit "Sugar Detox" on Facebook.
Sweet Potato Fries
Yields 4-5 side servings
Did you know that according to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 2 Men and 1 in 3 Women will develop some kind of Cancer in their life time? Since 1936, the EU (European Union) has banned over 40 ingredients used in our every day personal care products where the FDA has banned only 11. Why not make a decision to clean up your personal care choices by choosing brands that promises transparency in labeling and a commitment to producing only products that are safe for you and your family to use? Beauty Counter is a brand new company offering just that. So, go through your stash of "stuff"... throw away anything that is past the expiration date, or that are so old you can't remember when you got them, and dispose all items that include harmful ingredients... even the make-up!
This past month my family had a bout of the flu. As soon as I had enough energy I whipped up a batch of this power food to help build up my strength. If you are feeling run down, this is a great dish to prepare. You can change up the beans, grains, greens and seasonings to make it all your own and adapt to whatever ingredients you have in the house.
Red Lentil and Kale Power Food
1 cup brown rice
1 cup red lentils
3 carrots, cut into small circles
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch kale, tear leaves off the tough stem, and discard stems
salt and pepper, to taste
With spring around the corner, many of us seek change in routine eagerly inviting the season of renewal. As days get longer, we are exposed to more sunlight receiving a boost in energy and feel good endorphins that inspire us to clean up our acts. Sowhile others are dusting the cobwebs, and organizing yard sales, why not take a look at your diet and offer it a spring-cleaning instead! Follow these tips and reconnect with your healthful eating habits so you feel and look your best this spring.
Looking for some inspiration for a healthy yet hearty brunch to share with loved ones this weekend? Try this dish, filled to the brim with vegetables, but loaded with those savory flavors we all crave. Pull out your cutting board, and get dicing! This simple dish will melt your heart, and make yet another snowstorm disappear into the background.
Sweet Potato Hash
1 lb sausage/ turkey sausage (you can substitute 4 pieces of bacon)
1 large sweet potato, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 medium onion
2 tbsp. coconut oil
3 cloves garlic (minced)
Salt and pepper
1. Brown sausage/bacon until cooked, then, on medium heat, add coconut oil and potatoes. Sauté about 10 minutes.
2. Add peppers, onion, and garlic. Sauté until potatoes are cooked and veggies are browned.
3. Serve with scrambled eggs and toast.